American Avocet

1/640s at f9.0, ISO:800, Canon Mark III 1Ds w/800mm, 1.4x converter

The American Avocet is a large wader in the avocet and stilt family. The breeding habitat is marshes, beaches, prairie ponds, and shallow lakes in the mid-west and on the Pacific coast of North America. American avocets form breeding colonies numbering dozens of pairs. When breeding is over the birds gather in large flocks, sometimes including hundreds of birds. Nesting occurs near water, usually on small islands or boggy shorelines where access by predators is difficult. The female lays four eggs in a saucer-shaped nest, and both sexes take turns incubating them. Upon hatching, the chicks feed themselves; their parents never feed them. This species is migratory, and mostly winters on the southern Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Mexico and the United States.
Boulder County, CO